The New BFA Attendance System


Raptor Technologies system with computer (on right) and ticket printer (on left), with Ashley Geraw (attendance monitor) working on her computer. Photo credit: Asher Ballantine

Logan O'Brien, Contributor

Ever been a student that has had to wait in a line at the connector before heading to your class due to a late arrival? 

Administration has recently implemented a new attendance system at our school. 

According to Michael Atwood, Technological Integration Specialist at Bellows Free Academy, the new system is from Raptor Technologies. Its purpose is to track students who enter the building late or to track visitors. 

According to Atwood, whenever a student arrives at school late, they now have to wait in line and sign into the Raptor Technologies database via their student ID. Though the line in the connector is long, Atwood said every student who arrives late needs to go through this process at Ashley Geraw’s desk in the connector. Geraw is Bellows Free Academy’s Attendance Monitor

Atwood explained that the system tracks students that are late and marks them down to have the system notify their parents that they have arrived late and why they were late. This system also works with Powerschool, so when a student comes into school late, they are tracked as to whether or not they are going to their class or not. 

“There’s about 80 to 90 tardies of students…every day that is being recorded now. That information is being sent up to Powerschool,” Atwood said

According to Atwood, the new system was also implemented as a way of tracking the ID’s of visitors that come into the building. This checks sex offender databases all over the country, not just in Vermont. 

 “[Raptor Technologies is]… a good resource for the attendance person,” Atwood said. 

This new system works in conjunction with Powerschool, but it doesn’t eliminate the teacher’s part. “We’ve got daily attendance, tardy late and a teacher [can put in Powerschool Attendance that] they’re already late as well,” Atwood said. This helps the attendance monitor find out the students who are late to school and actually showing up to class.

Atwood said that students used to take a pink slip and nothing was recorded if they didn’t show up to class, but now if they don’t show up to class, it’s clear they are skipping classes as it is visible on the attendance side of Raptor. 

The attendance system may create a long wait at the connector, but it’s no different than any other wait. “It’s no different than if you go to the store [at] lunch hour and you’ve got a line then,” Atwood said.

The best thing to do is to just arrive at school early and that way you won’t be late to class.